Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLittle Big Town‘s latest hit, “Girl Crush,” has now sold more than one million digital downloads.

Ashley Monroe will perform on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on July 27 in support of her new album, The Blade, due out July 24.

Frankie Ballard joins Big & Rich for a concert at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts this Tuesday in Memphis to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Country newcomer Chris Janson appears on NBC’s Today on Thursday.

Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins and Jana Kramer are among the stars on the bill for the Northwoods Music Festival August 14 and 15 in Minong, Wisconsin.

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Tim McGraw Trying Out Brand-New, Unreleased Songs on This Summer’s Shotgun Rider Tour

Big Machine RecordsIf you catch Tim McGraw‘s Shotgun Rider tour this summer, you’ll be among the first to hear some of his brand-new music.

Tim tells ABC Radio, “We’re working on a new album now, so [we’ll] do some of the stuff  that we’re working on and get that out early and let people sort of hear that and gauge the reaction to it.”

Of course, Tim will be pulling selections from his more than two-decades of #1 country hits, but don’t count on him getting to every one of his chart-toppers. Instead, Tim likes to mix big hits and fan favorites in his set lists.

He explains, “What we try to do is go back and grab things sometimes that we didn’t get to do in the last couple of years. Some hits that people haven’t heard in a while, maybe some album cuts that people haven’t heard in a while, do the stuff that’s on the radio now.”

In addition to picking the songs he’ll play on this tour, Tim was personally involved in selecting Billy Currington and Chase Bryant to be his special guests on the road this summer.

Explaining why he chose those two acts, Tim says, “I’ve known Billy for a long time and always thought he was a great singer. Loved his music. Chase is an up-and-coming guy who plays great guitar and really has got a lot of energy about him.”

Tim’s Shotgun Rider tour kicks off Friday night in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Brad Paisley Adds Comedians to His Friday Night Concert Lineup at The Hollywood Bowl

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryBrad Paisley is adding some comedy to his Friday night show at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Comedians Sarah Tiana and Jon Reep will host and perform at the concert, and Brad may add comedians to other stops on his current Crushin’ It World Tour.

Brad met Sarah and Jon when he hosted the Wild West Comedy Festival in Nashville earlier this year. He says, “I feel like this tour and our music is all about taking real life and finding something to celebrate. These comedians are masters of that very thing. My fans will love it.”

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Maddie & Tae Share Their Best Beauty Tips with “Seventeen” Magazine

Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae share some of their best beauty secrets in the June/July double issue of Seventeen magazine. The duo is the only country act included in the issue’s American Beauty feature, which also highlights model Gigi Hadid and YouTube star Jeanine Amapola.

Maddie & Tae head out on the road with Dierks Bentley‘s Sounds of Summer tour starting Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their debut album, Start Here, is due out August 28.

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Kip Moore Announces Plans for Comeback Kid Skatepark Project for Inner City Kids

MCA NashvilleKip Moore teamed up with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Wednesday to announce his Comeback Kid Skatepark Project for inner city kids. Phase one of the project will include new skateparks opening this fall in Nashville and Boston as well as San Marcos, Texas and Annapolis, Maryland.

Kip is an avid skater and started dreaming of this project a few years ago. He says, “It came from me wanting to give kids in inner cities a safe outlet, where they can form the bonds I know can be made from having somewhere awesome to go and be a part of something they enjoy.”

The name of the project comes from Kip’s new song, “Comeback Kid,” which is included on his upcoming album, Wild Ones, due out August 21. You can donate to the Comeback Kid Skatepark by going to

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It’s @kipmooremusic and Mayor Dean breaking ground on the new Comeback Kid skate park on Buchanan!

A photo posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Jun 3, 2015 at 9:24am PDT


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockName Kellie Pickler‘s biggest chart success so far. ANSWER:  The Dancing with the Stars champion went to #12 with “Best Days of Your Life” in 2008.

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Newcomer Kelsea Ballerini Says The First Time is the “Full Picture”

Image Courtesy Black River EntertainmentThis week, newcomer Kelsea Ballerini celebrates her first top five single with “Love Me Like You Mean It.”  When her debut CD The First Time was released in May, it debuted in the top five on the country albums chart as well.

Kelsea says even though she’d released a 5-song album before, she feels like the full project is more of a “true taste” of who she is as an artist. “I really feel like the single and the EP were the fun, young, bubbly, poppy girl, and I feel like the rest of the album is the songwriter,” she reflects. “And I think both of them put together is me.”

This summer, Kelsea’s opening several dates on the Lady Antebellum tour.

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Ashley Monroe Cuts “The Blade” for Release July 24

Ashley Monroe’s new album, set to be released July 24, will be called The Blade. “I think every song on this record has an edge of some sort,” she says. “It cuts. That’s why I thought The Blade was a perfect title.”

Fans can get a glimpse of the CD’s cover and hear the title track at  “I have been on the receiving end of that pain,” Ashley says of the song. “It actually makes me physically hurt when I sing it. And when I recorded it for sure, but in a good way. I’m so thankful to the writers of that song. They talked about my heartbreak in a way that I’ve never heard. That’s hard to do.”

Vince Gill, who worked on Ashley’s last album Like A Rose, returns as one of her co-producers. Fans who pre-order the CD will instantly get “The Blade,” as well as the first single, “On to Something Good.” They’ll also be able to download three more songs before the release date:  “I Buried Your Love Alive,” “The Weight of the Load” and “Bombshell.”

Look for Ashley to debut a new song when she performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on July 27 to promote her new release.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKellie Pickler’s new single is called “Feeling Tonight.” She’ll perform it Friday, June 12 on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. She also will be taping her new CMT series I Love Kellie Pickler, set to debut later this year.

A Thousand HorsesBrett EldredgeBrothers OsbourneLittle Big Town and Steve Wariner are all set to play Darius Rucker’s 6th annual Darius and Friends benefit June 8 at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. The event raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

CMT’s first late-night offering, The Josh Wolf Show, debuts Thursday at 11 p.m. ET. The comedian is best known for his appearances on Chelsea Lately and Shark After DarkChelsea Handler is one of the show’s executive producers.

Country Radio Broadcasters will honor Dwight Yoakam with the 2015 CRB Artist Career Achievement Award during a dinner June 24 in Music City.

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Chris Young Teams Up with Vince Gill, Digs Deep on New CD

RCA NashvilleThough we don’t yet know the title or the release date of Chris Young’s new CD, he says there’s one thing for sure– it’s going to affect you.

“It’s a very, very deep record. I think people are gonna be able to live with this one,” he muses.  “I think hopefully you’re gonna want to buy the whole thing ’cause there’s gonna be a lot of stuff that doesn’t make it to radio that we’re gonna be playing live. Like I said, I think it’s got depth to it, for sure. “

For Chris’s fifth album, he called in some special guests and even made some dreams come true.

Vince Gill came in and played and sang on one. I was like, ‘Man, this would sound really cool if Vince would come in and play on it.’ Then he was like, ‘Man, I’ll sing, play whatever. Come over to the house,’” he recalls. “Went over and recorded at least his part over at his home studio, which was amazing, ’cause I’ve always been a gigantic Vince Gill fan.”

Chris, who took home the 2006 title on Nashville Star, also teamed up with another talent competition champion, namely the 2012 winner of The Voice. “There’s a duet on there as well with Cassadee Pope that’s a really, really cool tempo, male-female duet that I think people will dig,” he says.

The new CD, which features his latest single “I’m Comin’ Over,” is expected sometime this fall.

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